In January of this year the Cumberland Valley School District’s Board directed the district’s solicitor to take legal action to seize, through eminent domain, the preserved McCormick Tract.
The action was taken without any prior public discussion on the part of the board. Additionally the board has not, at this time, collaborated with or engaged with the public on this matter. This is true even though on several occasions members of the public have suggested and offered to engage with the board to explore what options might exist to meet the district's future facilities needs.
It is interesting to note that the Mission Statement of the school district, which was adopted by the school board, calls for just the kind of collaboration and engagement in operating the district, which has not occurred. Perhaps the school board will yet choose to follow the guiding principles in this matter which it established.
The board should hit the pause button on its condemnation efforts. If that action is taken I have every confidence the board will discover many reasonable and willing partners among the public in collaboration. I have every confidence that, working together, we will find solutions which meet the district’s future facilities needs, preserve the McCormick Tract and find a willing purchaser for the current owners who will abide by the conservation easement which is on the property.
President of Cumberland Conservation Collaborative